LIRIODENDRUM, in botany, a genus of the Polyandria Polygynia class and order. Natural order of Coadunatx. Magnolia, Jussieu. Essential character : calyx three-leaved; petals six ; seeds im bricated into a strobile. There are two species, viz. L. tulipifera, common tulip tree ; and L. liffifera ; the former is a na tive of North America, where it is a tree of the first magnitude, and is generally known in all the English settlements by the name of poplar. The young shoots of this tree are covered with a smooth purplish bark; they are garnished with large leaves, whose foot-stalks are four inches long ; the leaves are of a singular form, being divided into three lobes ; the middle lobe is blunt and hollowed at the point, appearing as if it had been cut with scissars ; the upper surface of the leaves is smooth, and of a lucid green, the un der of a pale green ; the flowers are pro duced at the end of the branches, com posed of six petals, three without and three within, forming a sort of bell-shap ed flower, whence the inhabitants of North America gave it the name of tulip; the petals are marked with green, yel low, and red spots, making a beautiful appearance when the trees are charged with flowers ;- when the flowers fall off; the germ swells, and forms a kind of cone, which does not ripen in Eng land ; the handsomest tree of this kind, near London, is in a garden at Waltham Abbey.
The wood is used for canoes, bowls, dishes, spoons, and all sorts of joiners' work.
Kahn speaks of haring seen a barn of considerable size, the sides and roof of which were made of a single tulip-tree split into boards ; there is no wood that contracts and expands so much as this, which is a great inconvenience attending it ; the bark is divisible into thin lamina, which are tough like bast.